Three African American Male Scholars Who Are Taking on New Roles at Universities

Howard Rambsy II was named a Distinguished Research Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He is the first Black faculty member to earn this honor at the university. Dr. Ramsby is a professor of literature and has taught at the university since 2003. He is the author of Bad Men: Creative Touchstones of Black Writers (University of Virginia Press, 2020) and The Black Arts Enterprise and the Production of African American Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2011).

A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Professor Ramsby is a graduate of Tougaloo College in Mississippi, where he received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and history. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English from Pennsylvania State University.

Alfred L. Parks was named a Regents Professor at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. Dr. Parks is a professor of agricultural economics and interim executive associate director of the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center. His current research is focused on market opportunities for new and emerging enterprises, market channels, and supply-chain logistics.

Dr. Parks is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.

Selwyn Vickers, senior vice president for medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been given the added duties of CEO of the UAB Health System. He has served as dean since 2013. He is the current president of the American Surgical Association.

Dr. Vickers earned bachelor’s and medical degrees from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He completed postgraduate research fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and the John Radcliffe Hospital of Oxford University in England.


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